WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports Hurricane Bret moved on shore yesterday over a sparsely populated stretch of the Texas coast. Bringing maximum sustained winds up to 130 mph and rainfall amounts of more than a foot in some areas, Bret passed between Brownsville and Corpus Christi, Texas.
NHC Forecasters downgraded Bret to a tropical storm at 9 a.m. EDT today. At that time Bret was located 40 miles south-southwest of Alice, Texas. Bret's winds near the center of the storm remain relatively, ranging from 54 to 65 mph. A high wind warning remains in effect throughout the day for the Texas counties in Bret's path.
The center of Bret is expected to cross the Texas/Mexico border at midnight tonight. It will be several hours after that, however, before the rain bands on the backside of the storm clear Texas.
Heavy rains are reportedly causing flooding problems all along the storm's path. Up to 20 inches of rain have already fallen in Kenedy County. A band of showers with the potential for similar amounts of rain is located in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to move over southeast Texas later today. More than a dozen flash flood warnings have been issued across the area.
Official Preliminary Damage Assessments will begin as soon as conditions allow the teams to get into the impacted areas.
There are currently 712 Federal personnel, including the FEMA Headquarters Emergency Team , the Regional Operations Center in Denton, Texas (Region VI) and the FEMA Field Personnel currently deployed for response to this incident.
As of 4 a.m., EDT, the American Red Cross reports 42 shelters were open in a 10-county area of South Texas, housing approximately 10,000 people. The primary sheltering activity for evacuees is centered in the San Antonio area.
There are no preliminary reports yet on the storm's impact to the infrastructure in the disaster area. Transportation problems currently involve the closure of several roads along the coast, which were shutdown prior to landfall and the closure of the Corpus Christi Airport. There are also reports of two power lines down in the Rio Grand Valley.